Developing wrinkles and having drier skin are part of getting older. However, sometimes our environment and lifestyle choices speed up this process. The result is what we call premature skin aging, or the early onset of signs of skin aging. The bad news is that we can’t halt skin aging altogether, but the good news is that we can prevent and reduce premature skin aging. This article lists the common causes behind premature skin aging and 8 ways to deal with premature skin aging.
Common causes of premature skin aging.
- Sun exposure and tanning – What do tanning beds and sunlight have in common? Ultraviolet (UV) rays. These UV rays can alter your skin cells’ DNA and cause wrinkles.
- Bad eating habits – Do you have a sweet tooth? Unfortunately, foods that are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates (pasta and pastries) have been found to cause skin damage.
- Smoking and drinking – Cigarettes and liquor are generally bad for your health, and they can be especially harsh on your skin. Toxins from smoking cause oxidative stress, which lead to drier and thinner skin as well as wrinkles. Meanwhile, alcohol causes skin dehydration.
- Too much stress – Stressful situations trigger inflammatory responses. Continued exposure to tense situations can overstimulate the production of stress hormones, which then results in faster skin aging.
Give your skin extra protection from the sun.
Apply sunscreen every day of the year, whether or not it’s a sunny day. Even when it’s overcast, UV rays can seep through the clouds and penetrate your skin. So, wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50 every day. This simple habit can prevent the sun’s rays from destroying the integrity of your skin. Don’t forget to reinforce the power of sunscreen with sun-protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats or visors. You can even bring out a parasol for good measure. Remember to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses, too. Wearing shades will prevent you from squinting repeatedly, which could also lead to wrinkles.
Avoid indoor and outdoor tanning.
Getting a tan, whether at the beach or at a tanning salon, involves harmful UV rays. Of course, you won’t see wrinkles or sunspots immediately after tanning, but in the long run, your skin will be quicker to develop signs of aging. If you really want to get a tan, however, consider sunless tanners that come in sprays, gels, and creams. Getting a self-tan is much safer than the alternatives, but with the same sun-kissed look.
Say goodbye to cigarettes and alcohol.
Smoking speeds up the breakdown of collagen and constricts blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells. As a result, smokers have wrinkles at an earlier age. Additionally, their nails and fingertips turn yellow. Meanwhile, excessive drinking dehydrates your skin and dilates your blood vessels, which may lead to broken blood vessels and skin disorders. Nonetheless, a glass of wine during dinner should be fine. The bottom line is that avoiding cigarettes and too much drinks are good for your skin.
Eat healthy foods.
You should know and eat the best foods for healthy skin. Green tea, leafy vegetables, avocados, and tomatoes are just some examples of food that can help give your skin a youthful glow. On the other hand, avoid eating foods that contain too much sugar and refined carbohydrates. Yes, that means cutting down on cake, pizza, and sodas.
Avoid repetitive facial movements.
There are actions we do almost every day with our face. These are actions like frowning, raising your eyebrows, squinting, and even holding a cigarette or straw in your mouth. Unfortunately, repeatedly contracting the same muscles over the years can cause lines that eventually become permanent, i.e., wrinkles. If you have mannerisms that you think are potential causes of early wrinkles, then watch yourself and try not to repeat them. You can also use simple hacks like using shades during hot, sunny days to avoid squinting all the time.
Stop using skincare products that sting.
Almost everyone has a personalized skincare routine by now. Choosing the best skincare products is a chore, but it pays off. Most of the time, the process is just trial and error. If you are using skincare products that cause a burning or stinging sensation, you should stop using them now.
Apply moisturizer daily.
Washing your face every day is a given. Face washing should be done twice a day, and every time you sweat heavily. Moisturizer locks hydration in your skin and gives it a younger appearance. That’s why it’s important to apply moisturizer every day. But not every moisturizer is good for you, so choosing the right kind of moisturizer is important.
Defeating premature skin aging is possible with eight simple steps:
- Protect your skin from the sun.
- Avoid tanning.
- Avoid cigarettes and alcohol.
- Eat healthy.
- Avoid repetitive facial expressions.
- Don’t use skincare products that sting.
- Use moisturizer every day.
Are you taking measures to reduce premature skin aging?
Written by Katie Pierce, a teacher-slash-writer who loves telling stories to an audience, whether it’s bored adults in front of a computer screen or a bunch of hyperactive 4-year-olds. Writing keeps her sane (most of the time) and allows her to enjoy some quiet time in the evening before she walks into a room of screaming kids (all of whom she loves dearly) the next morning.